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Project TitleCatalytic Hydrogen Production
Track Code2017-006
Short Description

Environmentally safe and efficient generation of high value alternative hydrogen fuel from water to power fuel cells/electric vehicles/etc.

Abstract

UMass Lowell researcher Professor Dave Ryan has developed a catalytic process to produce hydrogen gas under low temperature conditions (~85oC-100oC) and no use of harmful chemicals. Process involves the use of water, CO2 at approximately 40 psi and specially synthesized nano-featured cobalt reagent. Nanoscale features on the surface of the cobalt metal play a key role in the performance of the catalyst.

 
Tagsenergy, hydrogen, cobalt, Portable power, catalyst, efficient, electric vehicle, fuel cell, safe, stationary power
 
Posted DateJun 7, 2017 2:46 PM

Researcher

Name
David Ryan
Mahesh Jayamanna

Manager

Name
Vijayendra Kumar
Rajnish Kaushik

Background

Hydrogen presents excellent opportunities as an environmentally friendly energy carrier to power fuel cells for electric vehicles or in other applications. Main resource of hydrogen production is from Natural gas and other fossil fuels. Other resources are solar, biomass, wind etc. Today 95% of the hydrogen produced in the United States is made by natural gas reforming (also called steam methane reforming or SMR) in large central plants. The processes of producing hydrogen from these resources are thermochemical, electrolytic and biological. A very high temperature steam (700-1000oC) is used to produce hydrogen from natural gas and it also results in the emission of greenhouse gases.

Most of the processes are energy-intensive and not environment friendly. There is a need to find low energy and environment friendly process to produce hydrogen efficiently.

Technology

UMass Lowell researcher Professor Dave Ryan has developed a catalytic process to produce hydrogen gas under low temperature conditions (~85oC-100oC) and no use of harmful chemicals. Process involves the use of water, CO2 at approximately 40 psi and specially synthesized nano-featured cobalt reagent. The nano-cobalt catalyst consists primarily of cobalt metal with some cobalt oxide on the surface. Nanoscale features on the surface of the cobalt metal play a key role in the performance of the catalyst.

Fig. SEM images of synthesized nanostructured Co particles at four different magnifications: (a) 20,000 X, (b) 15,000 X, (c) 8,000 X, and (d) 2,200 X.  

Inventors have done some preliminary studies such as optimization of amount of water needed for hydrogen production during catalytic process and production of hydrogen gas as a function of time. Initial experiments revealed at about 30% hydrogen production in a reaction chamber.   

Competitive Advantages

  • Environment friendly process
  • Efficient production of high value alternative hydrogen fuel from water
  • Low energy intake
  • Point of use production
  • No impurities such as carbon monoxide formed that poison fuel cells
  • Eliminates the need of hydrogen storage
  • Improves safety as it eliminates need to transport highly flammable gas
  • Uses simple starting materials that can be reused/regenerated
  • Cost-comparative  

Applications

  • Fuel cells
  • Transportation - Electric vehicles; In addition to light duty (passenger) vehicles, the transportation includes fuel cell buses, material handling and specialty vehicles (i.e. forklifts used in warehouses)
  • Stationary Power- Stationary power covers any application in which the fuel cells are operated at a fixed location for primary power, backup power
  • Portable power as well as clean power production in homes or businesses
  • Submarines – Power generation

Market Potential

Hydrogen is used in fuel cells for local electricity generation, making it possible for hydrogen to be used as a transportation fuel for an electric or fuel cell vehicles.

Size of the electric vehicle battery market is expected to reach $25 billion by 2020. The global hydrogen generation market is expected to exceed $180 billion by 2024.

About the inventor

Dave Ryan, Professor, Department Chair – Chemistry

 (https://www.uml.edu/Sciences/chemistry/faculty/ryan-david.aspx).

Dave has been involved in projects aimed at the assessment of chemical processes and environmental monitoring for over twenty years. His research interests are Environmental Analysis, Carbon Dioxide Emulsions, Artificial Photosynthesis, Humic Materials, Fluorescence Spectroscopy, Metal Speciation, Vitamin E Oxidation Reduction, Enhanced Oil Recovery. 

Patent

Pending, World-wide protection available

Publications

Contact

Vijayendra Kumar, PhD

Licensing Associate

Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC)

600 Suffolk Street, Suite 212

Lowell, Massachusetts 01854

Phone: 978-934-4714

Email: Vijayendra_Kumar@uml.edu

www.Uml.edu/research/otc

One University Avenue . Lowell, MA 01854 . 978-934-4000 -
Admissions - 883 Broadway Street, Dugan Hall, Lowell, MA 01854

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